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Taurine

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Taurine is an amino acid that supports neurological development and helps regulate the level of water and mineral salts in the blood. Taurine is also thought to have antioxidant properties. Taurine, C2H7NO3S, is a conditionally essential nutrient that is important during mammalian development. Taurine is found naturally in human breast milk and has been added to most human infant formulas since the mid-1980s. It is classified as a conditionally essential amino acid because it is must be supplied in the diet of infants for normal retinal and brain development. Taurine is a nonprotein amino acid, and is an end product of L-cysteine metabolism and the principal free intracellular amino acid in many tissues of human and other animal species. Taurine is found in large amounts in the brain, retina, heart, and platelets. The best food sources are meat and fish. Taurine may also be taken as a dietary nutritional supplement and is often found in popular energy drinks touted to boost athletic performance. Up to 3,000 milligrams a day of supplemental taurine is considered safe. Any excess taurine is simply excreted by the kidneys. Moderation is important, however. It's also important to remember that there may be high amounts of other ingredients in energy drinks, such as high amounts of caffeine or sugar. Too much caffeine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, interrupt your sleep, and cause nervousness and irritability. And added sugar may provide unwanted added calories. For most people, occasional energy drinks are fine, but try to limit yourself to about 16 ounces (500 milliliters) a day.Little is known about the effects of heavy or long-term taurine use.[1]

[1] PubChem. Taurine. http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/taurine#section=Drug-and-Medication-Information

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